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Agatha Webb

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Agatha Webb


Published October 21, 2013


LibriVox recording of Agatha Webb by Anna Katharine Green.
Read by Librivox volunteers.

A universally beloved woman has been murdered. But who would have the heart to kill Agatha Webb? Would her husband do it for money matters? Or would it be the cook, who died at about the same time? Or would it be the rich and well-connected Mr. Fredrick, who ran away into the woods? This work is also for feminist fiction lovers. As the story starts right after the murder, we see how miss Page, a servant at a rich house who is the sweetheart of the same Mr. Fredrick, wants to join the investigation- and is constantly prevented from doing so by conservative men. (Summary by Stav Nisser)

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Run time 11:00:20

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Reviews

Reviewer: glttrgrl8 - favoritefavoritefavorite - July 1, 2014
Subject: Great story but ruined for me by the spotty and poor narration
I find it hard to believe that none of the other reviewers have commented on the disastrous narration of this book. Also, the chapter numbering got totally screwed up when some chapters spanned multiple files (instead of saying Ch. 14, part 2, it became Ch 15!); the four separate Books that AKG used to break up her story into sections were nowhere to be found (except for Book I, which did appear at the beginning of the first file); and the great variance in the quality, understandability, volume, background noise levels, etc., of the readers was absurd. Obviously, the readers are volunteers, and so the quality level of expectation is lower than that of professionals, but I would expect it to at least be as good as someone's everyday speaking voice neutrally reading text. However, I actually had to download the text file because *I could not make out AT ALL what words were being said* by a few of the readers! And, no, I don't have a problem with readers with accents. I LOVE books read by readers with accents when the narration is understandable and context appropriate, which are the same qualifications I have for readers without accents. By context appropriate, I mean that when text is described as being, e.g., said mournfully, the reader should either read in a neutral voice or a mournful one, but not read it like it's a happy time at the carnival; it is completely out of context from what is going on in the story and is very jarring, especially when the attempted change in voice makes the text less understandable. (Readers both with and without accents had trouble in this book!) Several times, words were added or omitted (I know because I was following along with the text in places so I could understand what was being said), and some words just weren't pronounced as words but rather as the sound of a letter or two somewhere in the word. (I.e., the sound "LS"; what word is that supposed to be? In a book from this time period, it could be an obscure word or it could be a commonplace word, but it's hard to tell from context when you only have the sound of 2 of the 7 or 8 letters. That's when the reader needs to get the feedback to s l o w d o w n and pronounce entire words.)

This is the biggest overall mess I've encountered so far on LibriVox, and I've listened to dozens of books. So, as much as I enjoyed the story (half of which I had to read on my Kindle, defeating the point of an audiobook), I just can't give it a high rating because of the narration, the majority of which was subpar.
Story: 4.5 stars; reading: 2 stars; total: 3 stars.
Reviewer: Alonzo Church - favoritefavoritefavorite - January 15, 2014
Subject: Ultimately Disappointing
There is a nifty plot twist behind the murder investigation that takes up the bulk of this book. But the spectacularly outrageous back story is a little hard to take, and some of the plot digressions add nothing to the tale. It's OK for a long trip, but the last chapters had me yelling back at my car mp3 player.

Readers do well. My problem, here, is with Ms. Green, and the thing she has Ms. Webb do.
Reviewer: mikezane - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 18, 2013
Subject: I really enjoyed this story
The summary covers the plot. I was able to guess the twist in this story, and I found the murder to be a bit contrived in how it occurred, but it was also a sad and sweet story about how easy it is to do injury when people jump to the wrong conclusions about things.

It ends happily, so no complaints there. No issues that I could see with the reading, just still grouching about the lopped off chapter names.
Reviewer: JessieL - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 22, 2013
Subject: Agatha Webb
great story line and all readers were great! Thank you all
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